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Gov’t issues nationwide dusk to dawn curfew

The Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence on Friday imposed a nationwide curfew from 6pm to 6am in an effort to curb the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that has already killed four persons.

The curfew takes effect on April 3 and will last for one month.

She said no one is allowed to leave his or her home except for those working in essential services. Lawrence later reportedly stated that “telecommunications and media are considered essential services.”

All government employees were ordered to work from home. Also, selected types of businesses would be allowed to open for business from 6am to 5pm.

NOTICE
COVID-19 EMERGENCY MEASURES
These emergency measures are made pursuant to the paragraphs (1) and (2)(b) of the Direction by the President, given under the Public Health Ordinance, Cap. 145, and published in the Gazette, Legal Supplement B, 16th March 2020.

The measures shall take effect from the 3rd April, 2020 and last for one month unless earlier terminated, extended or amended by notice of the Minister of Public Health after an assessment of the prevailing public health conditions.

1. Restriction to home
Except as otherwise provided in this Notice every person shall remain in the confines of his or her home and its yard space.

2. Restriction on social activities
(1) No person shall host, attend or visit-
(a) a private party;
(b) a recreational or competitive sporting event;
(c) a wedding, other than the bride, the bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer;
(d) a banquet, ball or reception;
(e) a bar or rum shop;
(f) the seawall;
(g) a pool, creek or river;
(h) a wake or vigil;
(i) a gym;
(j) a beauty salon or spa;
(k) a club or discotheque;
(l) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organisation; or
(m) any other social activity

(2) No water sports or recreational activities shall be allowed on any river, creek and internal waters.
(3) No more than ten mourners, one officiant and the funeral director and the necessary staff shall attend a funeral.

3. Restriction on visitation
No person shall visit or be permitted to visit-
(a) any place of quarantine or an isolation facility;
(b) a prison or correctional facility;
(c) a patient in a hospital, nursing home, senior citizens’ home or any other care
facility.

4. Curfew
A curfew is hereby imposed throughout Guyana from the 3rd April, 2020 to 3rd May, 2020 between the hours of 6:00pm and 6:00am.

5. Public Service, Statutory Bodies and State-owned Enterprises
All persons employed within the public service, a statutory body or a State-owned enterprise shall work remotely from home, except as may otherwise be directed by the Minister of Public Health acting on the advice of the responsible Ministers and Heads of Agencies.

6. Essential Services
(1) Subject to subparagraphs (2) and (3), all services shall remain closed except for the following essential services which may carry on operations for 24 hours-
(a) hospitals, healthcare and medical services including pharmacies, drug stores and private veterinary services;
(b) nursing homes, orphanages, shelters and other related care centers;
(c) immigration;
(d) the Revenue Authority;
(e) electricity services;
(f) water supply services;
(g) the disciplined forces;
(h) prison services
(i) solid waste management, sewerage and janitorial services;
(j) air traffic control;
(k) Demerara Harbour Bridge and Berbice River Bridge;
(l) hotels and accommodation;
(m) factories, manufacturers or distributors of food supplies and essential goods including medical supplies where the Minister of Public Health has determined that the continuation of these operations do not pose a risk to public health.

(2) The following services may be open between 6:00am to 5:00 pm-
(a) banks;
(b) markets, supermarkets, fruits and vegetable stalls and neighbourhood shops;
(c) food services and restaurants only for delivery, drive thru and take away services;
(d) gas stations.
(3) Any service not listed in subparagraphs (1) and (2) may only continue their services if their employees can work exclusively from home.

7. Social distancing and physical distancing protocols.
Any service mentioned under paragraphs 5 and 6 shall make the necessary arrangements to facilitate social and physical distancing and shall-
(a) ensure that all staff and other persons maintain physical distancing of at least six feet in or outside of their establishment, if in a line to enter the establishment;
(b) determine the number of persons that may be permitted in the establishment at any one time by permitting one person for every thirty square feet of store space;
(c) place distance markers at least six feet apart, indicating where each customer shall stand on a line at a check out point or other line;
(d) place distance markers at least six feet apart on the outside of the establishment, indicating where customers shall stand while waiting to enter the establishment

Religious Worship
(1) Except for the conduct of funeral services and weddings, all churches and places of religious worship including mosques and temples shall be closed.
(2) Subparagraph (1) does not prohibit any religious worship by virtual or electronic means provided that if virtual or electronic worship is being carried on in the place of worship the number of persons in that place shall not exceed five persons and the social distancing of six feet between persons shall apply.

9. Domestic Travel
(1) Any person who provides transport within Guyana whether by land, water or air shall not carry in that transport more than half the number of passengers which the motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft is licensed to carry and the operators and passengers of any motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft shall have personal protective equipment.
(2) A motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft shall not be used for a purpose other than a purpose related to a service under paragraphs 5 and 6.
(3) The Police Force shall have powers to stop any motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft and inquire as to the purposes for which that motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft is being utilised, and may arrest anyone found in violation of this paragraph.
(4) Medical evacuation flights shall be allowed with only the patient, one health official and, where necessary, one family member.

10. International Air Travel
The Cheddi Jagan International and Eugene F. Correia International Airports shall remain closed to all international flights except for outgoing flights, cargo flights, medical evacuation flights, technical stops for fuel only and special authorised flights.

11. Offence
Any person who fails to comply with any of these measures commits an offence under section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty provided under that section.

Revocation
All curfews or measures taken under any law or administratively are revoked except those made by the Ministers responsible for Education, Civil Aviation, Maritime, Immigration and Finance.